Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Slovenj Gradec peace messenger city

Slovenj Gradec is the cultural and economic centre of the Mislinja valley. With its number of inhabitants it is a small town, but when you take into account its creative tradition and institutions, its importance extends over many borders. Numerous exhibitions in the art gallery and events (some of them under the aegis of the UN) have brought the town closer to its foreign neighbours, and that is how in 1989 Slovenj Gradec got the distinguished title of the Peace messenger City.

The historical image of Slovenj Gradec and its surrounding area stretches back to pre-historic times. This may be traced in the remains of Illyrian and Celtic settlement called Colatio. The medieval town was (like the other oldest Slovene towns) founded in the 13th century. It has survived centuries of turmoil but the town folk (most often artisans and merchants) together with foreign and native masters and artists, have managed to care for the image of the town. The old town centre has remained the focus of cultural and social life right up to the present day.

Slovenj Gradec has always been and remains rooted within its historical and cultural tradition. The most important artistic monuments in the town are to be found in the Gothic church of the Holy Spirit and in the church of St. Elizabeth. In the nearby surroundings there are quite a few cultural and historical monuments whose particular characteristics resonate in a wider cultural context. The most important are the church of St. Georg at Legen, the ruins of Vodriž castle and the church of St. Pancras above Stari Trg (the Old Square). There are also some sites of ethnological interest that have been preserved, and among them we find many “kozolci” (characteristic Slovene hayricks), old peasant houses, chapels and, here and there, a few old watermills and sawmills.

We find in Slovenj Gradec and its surrounding area the birthplaces and places of creativity of numerous important people:
- Mateuz Cerdonis – one of the last European printers of the “Incunabula”;
- baroque painters Strauss;
- the composer Hugo Wolf;
- the poet Ernst Goll;
- the sculptor Franc Berneker;
- the writers Franc Ksaver Meško and Ljuba Prennerjeva;
- the painter Jože Tisnikar.

Slovenj Gradec – today…
Many famous artists continue that artistic tradition even today (Karel Pečko, Bogdan Borčič and many others). Traditional artisan work has also been handed down to contemporary masters, working from their home.

As well as what is offered by the hotel and a youth hostel in the town, any guest has the chance to stay at one of the several farms that offer hospitality in the more outlying parts of the Mislinja valley, and to sample the local cuisine in nearby inns. 

The town and surrounding area offer many different opportunities for recreation:
- sports centre of Vinko Cajnko;
- skiing on Kope;
- horse riding;
- biking;
- gliding;
- Mountaineering.

The many diverse environments to be found around Uršlja gora and Pohorje offer the ramble peace and its simple charms. The valley has many paths and secrets and it is worth discovering.

Partizanski dom Kope
The Partizanski dom mountain lodge is located at the foot of Mala Kopa and offers breath taking views over the Mislinja Valley and Drava Valley just nearby. If you climb a little higher, you will be enraptured by the Drava Valley and the slopes of Austria. The mountain lodge is located next to the ski slope, only 80m from the Kaštivnik four-person chairlift.

The Partizanski dom mountain lodge can be accessed by an 18km long road from Slovenj Gradec or by the Kaštivnik four-person chairlift from Vuzenica.

A large outdoor terrace and excellent cuisine welcome all tourists and skiers.

In summer time Pohorje invites hikers and bikers to pick blueberries or mushrooms. On “Velike Kope” was found 13 energetic points, which affects beneficently on our well-being and health and helps our body with connecting with universal space energy.

Hostel Slovenj Gradec
Hostel Slovenj Gradec is located on the left bank of Suhadolnica river, in a quiet part Ozare under Rahtel.

Hostel Slovenj Gradec is a part of the Youth Cultural Center Slovenj Gradec. It was built in 2011.The hostel offers accommodation in modern single-, double-, fourbed rooms and four suites. Suites offers accommodation for three, four of eight persons with a fully equipped kitchen. One of the suites is designed to accommodate disabled quests.

All rooms and suites have their own bathrooms. Access is possible by stairs or elevator. The quests can also use the breakfast room with fully equipped kitchen, laundry room, Wi-Fi access in all rooms, internet area and a free parking space. Next to the internet area is a Caffe bar, where quests can socialize, sit on the sunny terrace or spend a pleasant evening hours.

Hostel offers also two conference rooms for rental. Smaller room can receive up to 60 visitors and a bigger room up to 250 visitors. Both conference rooms are equipped with the latest audio technology and allow organization of different events.

Invitation for a trip – Adrenalin Adventure
Arrival in Slovenj Gradec, greetings from tourist guide and view of the town centre of Slovenj Gradec, which has remained its medieval concept (the church of St. Elizabeth and the church of the Holy Spirit, Carinthian Gallery of Fine Arts and the Carinthian Regional Museum).

- Stop for a coffee in one of the cafes in the city centre;
- drive to Legen and tour of the church St. George, where they are under the glass bottom remains of Slavic graves from the 10th century;
- a brief hike to Herc Mill, tour of the Mill and Sawmill, display of the ancient crafts and the tasting local delicacies in one of the organic farms;
- drive to the Aerodrome Slovenj Gradec, where excursionists can decide for a parachute jump or fly with a smaller plane;
- Culinary delights and return home.

Invitation for a trip – Forests Of Pohorje
Arrival to Kope with welcome drink on Partizanski dom mountain lodge, classical breakfast of Pohorje.

- Hike through the forest to energetic points (Vortices of life);
- arrival to Pungart: playing disc golf or a brief hike to Črni vrh or Ribniška Jezera;
- after returning – picnic in nature.

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